The winters in Chicago are cold, snowy and long. Cooking is one of my favorite activities, this time of year. What’s not to like about it? I get to enjoy some good food, and learn new things about the culinary arts, as there is not much else to do during these months.
I love making soup, which is the perfect cure for a cold snowy day in the Midwest. Today I created something new … Navy Bean Soup. So, after doing some research, on the web, I came up with the below recipe, which is a hybrid of several recipes (from other people).
Navy Bean Soup
- 1 (16 ounce) package dried navy beans
- 6 cups Chicken stock
- 4 cups water (or reserved Juice from Cooking of Shank Ham)
- 1 ham bone
- 2 cups diced ham
- 1 whole onion minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup sliced carrots (About three carrots)
- 1/2 cup sliced celery (About two stalks)
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup instant potato flakes
- Garlic powder or garlic salt to taste preference
- Place rinsed beans into a large stock pot. Add chicken stock, Ham bone and water — bring to a boil. Boil gently for 2 minutes; remove from heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour.
- Add ham bone, cubed ham, onion, salt, pepper and bay leaves. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until beans are soft. Occasionally skim surface of soup while it is cooking.
- Add carrots and celery, cook until tender. Remove ham bone, scrape any meat from bone and place back into soup.
- Add ketchup and potato flakes to soup …For a little extra zest add some garlic powder or garlic salt and additional pepper to taste.
- Makes approximately 12-14 servings
A couple of caveats from this experience:
- I cooked a 9 lb Ham Shank last night. When the Ham was done cooking I reserved a couple of quarts of the juice from the baking pan. I used it in place of the water called for in the recipe. That was a good decision as it added additional flavor to the soup.
- The instant potato flakes, in case you were wondering, thicken the soup texture slightly, besides adding flavor.
- The garlic was a nice finishing touch, something I came up with. You don’t need to use much, just a little and it makes a real nice addition to this soup.
The soup is delicious and will be good for several meals. I may even freeze some.
If you enjoy soup, please give this recipe a try, and would love your feedback.
Question — What do you enjoy cooking during the winter months… whats your favorite recipe? Please share it with us.